During a Monday afternoon episode of SiriusXM’s “Straight from The Hart,” the comedian said he apologized for “remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community” that came to light in December after he was selected to host the 2019 Academy Awards.
“We thought it was OK to talk like that, because that’s how we talked to one another,” Hart said of comments he made as recently as 2011, ABC reported. “This is wrong now. Because now we’re in a space where I’m around people of the LGBTQ community, and I’m now aware of how these words make them feel, and why they say ‘That s**t hurt because of what I’ve been through.’”
Hart also said he was on the side of “equality” but that it’s important for “people to have their own personal beliefs.”
“In the fight for equality, that means that there has to be an acceptance for change,” he said.
The comedian continued: “If you don’t want to accept people for their change, then where are you trying to get to the equal part? Where does the equality part come in? I don’t think it’s wrong for people to have their own personal beliefs. I think that in the times that we’re living in, we have to be understanding and accepting of people and change. Bottom line.”
Hart’s comments come just days after he appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and received a strong endorsement from the talk show host.
DeGeneres said that “as a gay person,” she had been “sensitive” to the comedian’s homophobic remarks but believed he had “grown.”
Hart stepped down as the Academy Award’s host just two days after being awarded the gig, following scrutiny over past tweets and comments he made that used homophobic language. After some delay, the comedian eventually tweeted an apologetic explanation.
Many found his apologies lacking, but DeGeneres said she accepted Hart’s remorse wholesale and revealed she had called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asking for the comedian to be given back the hosting gig.
CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is gay, later urged Hart to focus on being an “ally” instead of trying to wipe the slate clean with an apology.
“Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender,” Lemon said. “Being an ally does.”